Sunday, 31 December 2017

Nobody Wins When the Family Feuds

I told you.
I was going to let the BDSM post end the year but apparently, Jay-Z and Ava Duvernay refuse to let me live.
Tidal is not available in Kenya so I have not seen the video in full yet; just snippets on Instagram and post upon post about it on twitter.
I can't emphasize how timely this video is as we close out 2017 and prepare to welcome 2018. I say this because it seems that we are all so easily triggered to anger these days. When traveling to Mombasa for holiday a few days ago, a fight broke out in the bus between the people sitting behind me and the people sitting behind them. The latter did not appreciate how far the former had leaned back her chair and the former was pissed that the latter kept pushing at her chair. So instead of discussing it like two rational humans about to embark on a fun trip to a coastal location, they were shouting at each other.
Not being one to tolerate noise at that level for very long I turned around and asked the girl sitting behind us, "Are you having trouble with your seat? Because my son can help you with that..."
While my son glared at me for involving him in the drama.
The girl took this as an opportunity to explain her problems to me and so on etc.
'I"m not interested in your problems Carol. I just want to solve them so y'all can shut up.' I thought to myself...
So I talked over her, asking again.
"Is there a problem with the seat?"
So that turned the conversation to defective seats and the bus hostess got involved and long story short, the shouting became disgruntled muttering and everyone went back to their business.
The point of telling you this story is to illustrate the hair-trigger sensitivity that can cause any little thing to erupt into a shouting match because people have so much to be stressed and unhappy about. Except me apparently, because I'm super calm these days.
Nobody wins when the Family feuds. Can the first go-to reaction not be to fight? Can we try to reason with each other?
Not that I'm totally innocent of clapping back. If you notice, one of my recent posts has had a rapid climb up the 'most read' lists on the blog. Cut your eyes right, you'll see it just under Voodoo. It passed my Rihanna post! And it's like less than a week old. You know how it got so many reads so fast?
You notice when an artist or actor has something new to release they're suddenly everywhere? Telling you their little family secrets and giving you dating tips? Or 'dating' someone new? Rappers start beef with someone.
Anyways, it's all about peaking your interest. I've always been against it because I'm playing the long game. I'd rather have one new follower in a month who is genuinely interested in what I have to say than fifty people who are just following the drama and will dissipate like smoke as soon as that's done. So this particular conflict was inadvertent.
I shared the blog post on a page of 'writers helping writers' mostly because I wanted to know if anyone else had ever encountered the same problem and what their solutions might have been. So one member of the group posts a comment about how badly written the post is, the font is all wrong, the gifs are distracting...she's totally disgusted, blah blah blah etc, amen.
Some days I just have time so I was like, "Sis, what is the purpose of this post of yours? I don't recall asking for your editing services, your opinion of how I write does not affect the price of sugar in Uchumi so what was your purpose in writing it?"
So she says, "My purpose in writing it was that I don't like it."
I'm a grammar nazi guys. I'm a stickler for accuracy. So I asked her about which part of that sentence stated her PURPOSE and could she not read? Perhaps reading comprehension was her problem? Did she feel the need to make herself feel better about herself by declaring my writing subpar to her so-called editing pen? Furthermore, she also seemed to have misunderstood the purpose of the post - she thought I was surprised that self-publishing is difficult...
Anyway, usually I do not like to debate people who are clearly dumber than me but she was asking for it...
So after that conversation, the view count just skyrocketed so A+B=C.
Don't try this at home kids, it's wrong.
Nobody wins when the Family feuds.
Speaking of celebrities and marketing, Will Smith joining Instagram has been the most lit thing to happen to me online this December. I find it so funny that his children's Instagrams are so angsty and his is just goofy and fun. Vintage Will Smith. I guess that's what adolescence will do to you. Hopefully, Jaden and Willow will find their joy later.
So I guess he did it in time to promote Bright. Have you seen it? A surprisingly controversial role for the usually politically correct Smith (I sound like a commentator in that sentence don't I?). He leaves the politicking to Jada. It was also surprising in another way. Because instead of him portraying the role of the Oppressed, he was actually the Face of the Oppressor. Quite the ironic twist there, that his partner was a member of the "black" race in that Tolkien-like, Harry Potter sprinkled world. An Orc.
Who is the Dark Lord?
Donald Trump?
I don't think it's Donny. He's way too dumb to be a Dark Lord. In fact, let's just replace him with
Vladimir Putin.
Yeah, that's probably the dark lord equivalent in this world.
Bright was extremely clever in how it wove fantasy and reality so tightly you probably missed a lot of intricacies on just one watch. I plan to watch it at least twice more to really appreciate it. I love stories with layers. It's why I'm such a fan of Supernatural as well as of Child of Destiny. On the surface, the former is just a story of two sexy brothers fighting monsters, the latter, an infidelity romance. But then...
So enjoyable discovering them for yourself.
I'll let you do that then.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

How BDSM isn't as Bad as You Think

This is very likely my last post of 2017.
Very likely but not definitely.
I'm trying to be a better planner but the truth is that I live and write by the seat of my pants and God's will so I can't say for sure. That said, I want to talk about something I recently learned about because I like to share my knowledge and opinions.
But y'all know that right?
Recently, I was tricked into writing a 12,000-word book on being a submissive in BDSM.
Tricked how you ask?
Well, it's simple really. I am registered on this site as a writer, filed under 'fiction'. Which means that on my work page, I can only see work available in the fiction category. But then one of the managers emailed me and said, "I have this piece of work that nobody has chosen and you're not doing anything - on the site - as far as I can see. Can I give it to you?"
Now, this site has filed me under fiction meaning that I can only access the work posted under stories on there. However, most of the work they get is non-fiction, and so they essentially lock me out of the larger portion of work available...until no one else is willing to do a certain job. Then suddenly they all up in my DMs like, "Hey Bighead."
It's cool.
It's alright.
People will use you if you let them.
I learned that lesson long ago.
So I only let them use me if it's to my benefit. And I figured I could do the 12k assignment and I'd get paid right about the middle of my holiday which means...
I'd be rolling in it.
So I said yes.
And THAT'S when they told me the topic.
Now I'm not your typical judgemental whatever. But I don't hold with pain. And the fanfic I've read featuring BDSM is equal parts painful and just no. So I was not exactly happy.
However, I took it as an opportunity to learn something new, hopefully, and who knows? I'll probably be asked to write a BDSM romance sooner or later.
So, learning opportunity...
And boy did I learn!
First of all boys and girls, BDSM is not just about whips and chains. It's an entire lifestyle and personality type. As soon as I began learning more and more about what it takes and what it looks like to be in a dom/sub relationship I started looking at everyone around me differently. I noticed who had a tendency toward dominance, others towards submissiveness...Believe it or not, that was new information to me.
Take these two ladies in the lovely gif above for example. One hundred percent uncut, pure doms. Rob and Chyna's relationship might have worked out if Rob didn't bring a third dom into their relationship; his mama, Kris Jenner.
You notice that Rob and Chyna were fine and happy until he kind of reconciled with his family and was calling his mother every two minutes to ask for permission for this and that...Two cocks cannot exist in the same roost. One dom had to go and in this case, it was Chyna who stepped and got herself another sub.
Nicki also is such a dom, leading her men publicly around by the nose...remember how Safaree used to walk behind her? Dragged on stage at every award show to basically be her entourage? And Meek, so happy to have snagged those boobs and that butt. Just counting his blessings to be in the same room with her. Until they disobeyed. And then it was bye bye miss American pie...
You always know who wore the pants in her relationships. Probably why she and Drake have never quite gotten it together. He doesn't strike me as the submissive spite of his softness.
Another obvious dom/sub couple is Rob's sister Kim and her husband Kanye. He literally tells her what to wear, goes so far as to dress her, basically, he runs her life. From what I've read of the dom/sub life, the first thing you need for success is a lot of trust in each other, because the sub completely hands her life over into the dom's hands.
Without trust, the dynamic can't work. With that in mind, I'd say that the Kimye relationship has the tools to last a lifetime what with her throwing away her sleuthing abilities because 'she doesn't need them with him', and he only having her number in his phone...they clearly need no one else.
Writing this book was not just beneficial in allowing me to see y'all in a new light. It also showed me things that I didn't know, I didn't know about myself.
I love when that happens.
When you discover something about yourself you didn't even think to imagine might be something to wonder about. It's the best. It's increasing self-awareness without angst and effort.
Shall I tell you what I discovered about me?
Bye Felicia, we not that close.
I will marvel with you at the marvelous possibilities of accessing knowledge and wisdom about absolutely any topic from the pages of a book. You might be reading it for entirely different purposes but then you come across something that makes you go like, "Hmmm...I did not know, I needed to know that."
I'm sure some of you would like to read the finished product on BDSM. Unfortunately, I have no idea where it will be published.
Hello, Annemarie, ghostwriter, pleased to meet you.
I will tell you where you can find a whole bunch of books I wrote...
Y'all come back and visit in the New Year y'hear?

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Self-Publishing Ain't for the Faint Hearted

I am on holiday right now.
Outside of my window, the dark blue swimming pool beckons.
Or maybe I could be taking a walk by the sea.
But here I am, sitting.
Writing a blog post about how goddamn difficult self-publishing is.
You know why?
Because a self published author is not only the writer, they're the publisher, the marketer, number one cheerleader, publicist, distributor...okay maybe you're not the distributor, but you gotta keep an eye on them if you don't want any surprises.
Basically, you're running a company in which you're every single position including bottle washer, maintenance, and housekeeping. It's quite exhausting and it never stops.
Just now, I'm tackling an issue that came to my attention purely by accident. I bought a gift copy of Erase and Rewind from Amazon in order to enter the gift card into a giveaway on a readers' site. I did so because of a Facebook post where someone was asking about book reviews and the site put a link in the comments.
(So yes, while you're innocently browsing your facebook or twitter, you might come across something you need/want to act on because IT NEVER STOPS).
Well I went to Amazon to get the gift card number and I get a very disheartening message:
This book is not available in your country.
I wrote a book.
I published it.
But it's not available in my country.
I had already come across this issue before with Child of Destiny when my son tried to get it for his friend. I'd already spoken to my distributor about it. They dismissed as a technical issue which would be sorted out presently.
It's a month later.
It's not sorted.
I miss Pronoun like the desert misses the rain. They had an Author Happiness Liaison. Them closing down has definitely been a step back for the self-published author.
1. I can't get my gift card for the site until Amazon sorts this shit out.
2. The distributor should have had this shit sorted on day one.
3. I'm now wondering where else my book is 'not available'.
4. Sigh.
I'm supposed to be on holiday!
If I had even a smidgeon less passion for my writing, I'd shut this shit down and go dispense medicine.
Speaking of passion, I recently accidentally opened an author page group on Facebook. Seeing as I didn't want to just close it without thought, I left it blank for a while but now I think I know what I want to do with it. I want to write stories from prompts. Which the group members will give me. So I'm urging you all to go and join it here so you can ask me for the stories you want to read.
Have you gifted my boxset to the bibliophile in your life yet? Happy Boxing Day.
Have you had a similar experience? Hit me up and let's share solutions.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

DON'T Play Through the Pain

I've been pushing myself to work harder, to finish my work sooner, to take in more work...because I've been without work and now that I have it I want to do it all. Prove to myself and my mother probably that I can make it. I can do anything.
Well, I can't.
I can't miraculously heal myself from illness and I can't write more than I can write.
I'm only human.
What a stunning revelation.
I had a story all laid out for you, a great example of pushing yourself too hard while kidding yourself that you're not and it's horrible consequences. But I can't remember it. It could be the painkillers I'm taking. Or maybe I just can't remember.
I'm learning to just truly not sweat the small stuff.
Let it go like the blonde lady who makes ice sez.
So in my invalid state - and I mean it both ways; does that mean pun intended? - I'm just gonna leave you with an Instagram post I wrote about the vagaries of not taking care of yourself.
Can we take a vow not to work so hard in the new year? To take time for literally smelling the roses and baking cookies and whatnot?
And reading books of course.

 Life is about living.
#DeanWinchester has this philosophy. Play through the pain. And I too had unconsciously adopted this policy probably right from childhood. Yeah I have been feeling achy and unwell for a good long while but I always said, "I'll go to the hospital after..." After I finish this next assignment. After this batch of work is done... Just... after. Yesterday morning I knew I couldn't put it off any longer. I hurt too much. I was still shocked when the doctor said, "you have to be admitted." What? Me? I've only ever been admitted to hospital twice. One to remove my son and two to remove my appendix. I don't do hospitals. Luckily, or stubbornly I convinced the doctor to let me be treated from home. I talk about self care a lot. But I guess I haven't been following that philosophy myself too well. Shame on me right? Feels so good to be able to do nothing without guilt though. I love my stories, you know. But it's necessary to also love myself a bit more. I bet someone can relate huh?
A post shared by Author Annemarie Musawale (@authorannemarie) on

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

My First Facebook Live

Hi. So I decided to do a facebook live in which I tell you guys about my brightest of bright ideas. I accidentally started a facebook author page group and I've been wondering what to do with it. So I got the idea last night to make it into a story prompt page. My dear followers are free to give me story prompts and I will write a short story for you using your prompt. I think the sound is pretty low but that's the gist.
What do you think?

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Stagnation And Fatigue: Just in Time for the Holidays

There is this girl.
She's from Brazil.
She has several Supernatural-named accounts on Tumblr.
She uses them to beg the internet for money on the daily.
Now I'm not trying to poor-shame her or nothin'. God knows I wouldn't have a leg to stand on if I did. But every day for a year or more, she asks every day for money. She outlines her story; how she has no money for food, rent, her mother's medicines, hospital bills, her own hospital bills. It all seems very hopeless. Then I think in October or something her mother died so it was money for the funeral, for the pending hospital bill, for rent...
Then she let slip that she has a sister. She mentioned her in a "Please help me pay rent because I don't want to move in with my sister, I want to do it by myself."
But you're not doing it by yourself. You're asking the internet to do it for you.
So now that we know there's a sister (and a brother-in-law) instead of just her and her poor dead mom, then I wonder, much did you actually have to pay for-
No wait, that's not even it.
My actual problem with her and her relentless posts is...there's never any change in the status. There's never any reports of job interviews, applications for jobs, a future plan that doesn't involve begging the internet to pay for every single expense. That's what bothers me.
There's an African saying about how if someone is carrying you, you make yourself easy to carry. You don't sprawl about in their arms like you're sitting on your throne. You try to take as much of your own weight as you can.
For this girl, nickname gadreelsam, it's all about sitting and crying and hoping that people will feel sorry enough for her to basically become her sugar daddies online. And that's annoying because of the entitlement of it. Because she's not making an effort. She wants to just take take and take, no expiry date, no specific plan for the future. Oh and of course we get the occasional, "I'm losing hope, I want to kill myself" message.
The thing that puzzles me is that in the midst of all this poverty she continues to have an unbroken internet connection, data to spend and a device with which to spend it on. And Tumblr takes so much data, hell I can't afford to be on that site every day. But there she is like clockwork, endlessly reblogging herself...I mean I don't know about Brazil. Maybe the internet is free? Maybe she borrows a laptop from...yeah okay that theory just died an ignominious death.
Why do I continue to follow this girl you ask?
Well, it felt rude to interrupt the whining you know? I was waiting for her to say thanks, guys, I'm good for a bit now before I unfollowed. Well, then I realized it was never gonna end so I just unfollowed.
So anyway I'm not saying she's lying or conning us. I'm not. But I don't even have donor fatigue; I have reading her whining fatigue.
Life is hard.
And when you've reached the end of your rope you should ask for help.
Ask for help.
But as you ask for help, also try to come up with solutions for your problem. Demonstrate that you are actively trying to get better. I want to cheer you on; I don't want to stay with you in a stagnating pool of self-pity forever, I'm sorry.
Speaking of stagnating, I've kind of been feeling like I'm doing that myself. I feel like I complain, to myself, to people who ask how I am, about how I'm not working as hard as I should. I feel like I'm trying to resolve it, but it's not getting resolved and that makes me feel discouraged. Then I start to feel like, "What's the point anyway?"
But my son wants to go on holiday for Christmas and enter a football tournament and eat lunch at Java...those things cost money mayne.
So that's my point I guess.
Is it a good one?
It certainly gets me up in the morning.
But I'd like my passion back, please.
Somebody make it happen.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Storytelling with Google

I just spent the last ten minutes scrolling through NASA infographics in order to find out what the interior of a spaceship is called. (turns out there's no particular name but flight deck would do nicely for my purposes). Like I'm just wanting to show two people giving each other the silent treatment in the - *disembodied voice* - it was at this point that she turned to Google.
I use Google a lot when I write. Sometimes words just disappear from my mind so I have to use google to write a description in the hopes that it will turn up with the word. It's jarring to do so because it breaks up the flow of the story in my mind but needs must. I really wonder what people did before everything was literally at your fingertips (p.s. I just wrote fingerprints instead of fingertips...that's me nowadays). Diana Gabaldon says that when she's writing she has all these reference books that she gets plus reference people who help her with words and shit...I am one hundred percent sure that if I had to do that much study to write a story, the story would never get written. I am such a pantser it's not even funny.
Speaking of being a pantser, I was watching Insecure season 2 the other day and today while I was having my lunch and harassing the staff at Chicken Inn, I had an idea for a book. Because see Issa's friend played by Yvonne Orji (I can't remember the character's name) finally steps outside her comfort zone and dates this guy because 'he's funny and makes her laugh...' rather than, I guess his CV or whatever. But when she's telling Issa and her other friend about it, she seems to give the impression - without outright saying so - that the dick was not bomb even though she likes the guy. Anyway so what does she do?
 Has sex with the married man she was seeing before.

It gave me an idea for a non-fiction novel. I say non-fiction novel because while it would be in story format, the point of it would be to deliver facts rather than fictions. The premise of the novel would be a girl who finds a guy that is everything she wants and needs in a man, but his dick is not bomb at all. all. So she decides to be honest with him about it and let him know that he's not living up to her expectations. She doesn't want to cheat on him but she knows that she will in the long term if they don't address the problem. So her proposal is for him to take classes ideally from a lesbian, about how to pleasure a woman. And just so he doesn't feel like he's doing all the work in the relationship, she would be willing to take classes from a gay man about how to pleasure a man. So the chapters would just be different ways that the guy is taught to pleasure his woman. Then maybe one chapter at the end of what the chick learned.
Why go to the homosexuals you ask?
Because let's face it, who else knows what a woman likes better than another woman who has sex with women? Heaven knows if you asked me how to pleasure a woman I would not know what to tell you. And I'm a woman! All the magazines only seem to focus on "making the man in your life happy."
What about us?
It took this story premise for me to realize that I would not know how to pleasure me if my life depended on it. Innit sad? Is it my fault? Did I not expect enough from my relationships? Probably. But I just didn't think to. It wasn't on my radar. Am I alone in this?
I really do need to write this book and do interviews.
I still think that the best person to ask about pleasuring females would be a lesbian though. I feel like Portia de Rossi has that "I orgasm daily" glow. It's time to educate myself y'all, and give all the girlies out there some reference material.
Holla if you hear me!
I saw on twitter the other day that a girl pooped in the club. Not in the loo of the club. Like she had an incontinence moment and the poop just fell out of her as she was walking.
I have so many questions.
What happened?
I thought the sphincter only loosened when someone died. What disease is this? Or did she hold it for just way too long and her body couldn't take any more? Did someone mix laxatives in her drink? I need answers. Is it drugs?
You guys know that I love Shadowhunters the TV show right? Okay, maybe not the show so much as Malec. Anyways, so Dominic Sherwood who plays Jace on the show said a homophobic slur the other day. He said it to Mathew Daddario who plays Alec, and who was on Facebook Live at the time.
Super awkward.
Okay so first I gotta say that this white boy is super idiotic. He must have known that it was a Mathew Takeover which meant that if Matt is talking into a phone, very likely he's talking to the fandom. So this brain dead individual yells, "Hey fag" at the guy. Like...even if by some miracle you were not aware that there was a takeover if someone is talking on the phone do you shout things that are best not overheard by anyone? It was so stupid I can't even.
So, of course, everyone got in their feelings and they want Dom to be replaced. On the one hand, I get it. On the other hand, lissen...
I compare it kind of to that situation where a white person does something racist because they are unthinking and unconcerned and safely ensconced in their privilege so much so that they can just afford not to care or to be aware of their actions. So they are uncaring and indifferent to the suffering of others. It's the way their life is set up. Can you blame someone for the way their life is set up? It's up to them to take the time to get out of their comfort zone and try to understand others' pain. It's not an obligation though. You can't make people care about your issues. And just because they are on a show where you are represented doesn't mean that everyone on the show is concerned with the issues that plague your community. I get it, for some people, celebrities are their everything. And I am sorry that they do not have role models closer to their real lives who they can glom onto. It makes it so much harder when something like this happens. It's important to remember that sooner or later, celebrities will let you down...
Except for Rihanna.
Speaking of racist fuckery, I would like to address the hoo haa surrounding Meghan Markle. See instagram post below for example.

A post shared by Forgive My Fuckry 🙏🤣 (@whypree_tho_vip) on
Is Meghan Markle Jamaican? No, she is not. But she's black right? So we can just impose on her any type of black culture we feel like because all dem monkeys is the same right? BBC Africa had an article about how the "Royals fell in love with Africa before Harry fell in love with Meghan."
Okay first of all...
 Nope, I won't let Y'all make me 'first of all' you. Just a question. Giuliana Rancic is a first-generation Italian American right? But when discussing her wedding, did anyone mention Italy anywhere? About how Italy is the home of red wine and romance and that must have been why Bill fell for her? No, why? Because she's American now, he's American too and where they come from or their ancestors came from doesn't come into their Americanness. But Meghan, regardless of how her ancestors reached those shores; whether they were abducted and sold or emigrated of their own free will later; they are just as much entitled to be called Americans as Guiliana is. But no, her entire history and identity is erased so we can reduce her to this one aspect of her ancestry. That someone in her bloodline came from Africa so she will forever be your exotic little 'African' flower.
No fam.
She's an American of mixed race who is apparently not even black enough for some black Americans. Poor dear, everyone is so willing to disenfranchise her of her identity just enough that when she says 'her people' she probably just means her mom and aunties. But they're all very happy to say 'a black person' is joining the royal family. She's not even a person, not really. The only pertinent thing about her is that she has some black in her. That's the entirety of her importance to the world. So, by all means, let's talk about how extra her black relatives are gonna be at the wedding, blasting Jamaican music and how Prince Harry fell in love with Africa before he fell in love with her like he found her underneath a bush in the Sahara. Let's erase the PERSON that she is so we can find ways to diminish her. God sometimes y'all make me so mad.
Her husband sees her.
That's who all she needs right?
Congratulations to the happy couple though. I know Diana would be so proud.
Also just to let you know, seeing as it's the season of giving, I got a great gift idea for you; the Child of Destiny box set! Get it here.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Is It Resting Bitch Face or Do I Just Not Like You?

If you had asked me yesterday, "Annemarie, do you enjoy scaring the youngins?" My answer would have been a very definitive "No ma'am."
Today I learned different.
Not only is scaring the youngins fun as hell, y'all make it too easy.
My work output has been at the 'are you fucking kidding me levels' for a while and I've been looking for something to turn things around. Then it occurred to me that I had not, in fact, seen Thor Ragnarok yet. Nothing like a good Avengers movie to reset your fucking life.
I actually woke up in the daytime and left the house.
I get to Century Cinemax somewhere in between movie times and so I have time to kill. I decide to go downstairs and have lunch at the coffee shop. There were like five tables occupied so I figured I'd get service pretty fast. Perhaps it was the ho' earrings that made them take me for granted because wow.
First, they bring me a cold sandwich when I asked for toasted.
Then after they take the sandwich back to toast it, they fail to bring it back until I asked what happened to it.
When they bring it, it's cold, again.
I tell them to fuck off with their sandwich and bring me the bill for the hot chocolate I'd drunk. Of course, trainee manager comes by, asking me as if totally mystified what I the problem with my meal could possibly be?

Well, I told her. In detail. I held nothing back.
She's apologizing, asking me if she can get me a desert and I'm all like, "No thanks. I'm done with you people."
While they're sorting out the bill, the young and lovely, reminding me of Mya but with a lot less spine, at the next table says "Excuse me?" in a very soft voice, "Would you mind watching my laptop while I go to the loo?"
I'm like, "Sure, whatever."
And I don't know if it's my face or what but she goes like, "Never mind, I can just ask the waiter." Which she proceeds to do while I'm wondering why she looks so scared. I'm still signing my bill when she comes back and she thanks me for watching her laptop even if she'd asked someone else to do it. (internal Kanye shrug).

Well I run upstairs coz it's ten minutes to movie time and as I'm entering, there are three white people behind me and they're singing along to the song playing on the speakers and generally being loud. And in my head I'm like, "No thanks ma'am, I'm sitting as far away from those people as I can."
But I'm in front of them. Which means I'll choose a seat before them.
I choose a row and make my way to the furthest end, and they choose the row behind me and follow me as if they're going to sit directly behind me.
Sorry but no.
I just turned around and retraced my steps, went three rows in front of them and sat down. If they wanted to take it amiss they were welcome to because they were right. I was avoiding them. I did not come to the theatre to have my movie experience ruined by loud ass people behind me.
I sit down in the middle of an empty row, place my bag on the seat to my left and my soda on the seat to my right. That says keep your fat asses away from me quite clearly, doesn't it?
Apparently not because these two boys come and sit right next to me.
Honestly, there was a whole empty row!
Worse, they start to talk and laugh and eat popcorn as loudly as possible.

No! Just no.
I wasn't having it. I leaned in and told them "Excuse me if you're going to talk and laugh during the movie could you please move? There's plenty of chairs along the row you can sit on, you don't need to be sitting next to me."
I think they were a bit surprised but they said they were fine where they were. Two minutes later though, they moved away.
I didn't even feel a little bad about it.
But I realized that maybe I'm not people trained anymore. I don't know how to do those politenesses which enable people to endure discomfort in public with a grim smile. I'm just like, sorry, life is too short. Is it age or being a shut-in?

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Expectations vs. Reality

I grew up Catholic and everything from school to home life taught me that people strove to be good and kind and fair so that they might one day get to heaven when they die. I assumed that adulthood and maturity were the same things. I assumed that everyone had common sense and thought logically. Well, you know what they say about assuming...(it makes an ass out of you and me). The reality is so much more different. Churches aren't about bringing out the best in people and all people want to know from God is..."What have you done for me lately?"
Africans are being sold as slaves in Libya. (What a segue way huh?) Now I haven't so much as read one of the articles or watched a clip; I've just seen the headlines on social media. Do they surprise me?
Do you remember that Jada Pinkett Smith did a whole segment on CNN on human trafficking in America? About how kids as young as twelve years old were sold into prostitution by 'their boyfriends' a.k.a pimps. It all came down to these kids looking for love in all the wrong places and these predators willing to brainwash them into thinking they were getting it from them. Since their parents are never home anyway and they don't notice what happens in their kids' lives. Or they live with frail grandparents who it's all they can do to get up in the morning. When I think about it, I get so sad and just want to hug my boy close and let him know that he is loved.
I also saw another segment also on CNN about 'child brides' in India. I put the child brides in quotes because these girls were being 'married off' by their families and Catholic priests to men from Dubai and wherever; the men used the women for sex, rode them hard and put them away wet...and then abandoned them. Then they went home to their families and probably went through the whole thing all over again.
Modern-day slavery is alive and well.

This world is fucked up.
Most of these reports though look at the problem only through one lens. The lens of the predator coming, using their money and influence and getting to use human beings like tissue paper. Nobody examines the problems from the other side. What makes these girls submit to being degraded in return for this toxic 'love'? What makes families in India sell their children like livestock? Why are young men submitting to being sold as slaves in Libya?
What is the driving force behind this?
I know I know, nobody wants to be labeled a victim blamer, but I tell you true, unless you know what drives both sides, you're never going to solve the problem.
Maybe we don't want to solve the problem?
Maybe we're content, to be fake outraged on social media, and life goes on? After all don't we have enough personal problems? Who needs more shit on their plate right? No one that's who.
And what about these men? What is it that makes you see a child being exploited and it makes you hard as diamonds and wanting to despoil that child even further? Use them hard and leave them whimpering in pain and misery? Knowing that behind you are fifty more men who are going to use her just the same. And then all of you go home to your wives and kids and say, "Hey honey, how was your day? My meeting ran a little long. I'm so hungry, is there any of your delicious meatloaf left?"
See this is why I'm single.
Then there is the case of Cyntoia Brown. She was sixteen when she was trafficked by a pimp named cut throat. That was after being drugged and raped for days by those men above. Then she was sold to a 43 yr old child predator. She shot him dead and guess what? She's in jail, sentenced to 51 years. My young self would have been like, "Don't be ridiculous! No one in their right mind would do that!"
So, is the American justice system not in its right mind or are people just inherently without a moral compass or a smidgeon of compassion? It really boggles my mind how evil sons of bitches are. To think that she was alone in this, nobody helped heart hurts.
I keep seeing this post on Twitter about Mansa Musa being the richest man on earth ever, with a net worth of 400billion. I don't remember when Mansa Musa lived or which village he was the chief of. That must have been primary school history which was a long time ago. What I definitely don't remember reading is that his village was also rich and prosperous. Perhaps he was just another leader who liked to accumulate wealth while his people languish in poverty. Nothing to celebrate in other words.
And if we're looking for the answer to slavery, I think we find it in poverty. No doubt Mansa Musa sold some of his 'less desirable' folk to the slavers. They were poor anyway, a burden on the village? Criminals? Weak minded? His enemies? Whatever the reason, I'm sure if I did my research, there'd be some people selling in there. Supply and demand. An endless supply of poverty-stricken individuals are just rich fodder waiting to be plundered by somebody.
A girl wanting to buy a new weave so she's more socially acceptable in her school circles; meets a man who says, "Hey, why don't I buy it for you? All I want is...a kiss in repayment. How about it?"
And that's how the devil offers you domain over everything you see.
"Just jump off this cliff for me, and it's all yours."
Dreams of a better life.
Food on your plate.
Whatever it is, you get offered it in return for...nothing that you'll miss anyway right?
Just your soul, your dignity, and your self-respect. You can't even see those. Very likely they don't even exist.
We have to do better.
We have to be better.
My mini romance story that won first prize, I believe you can read it in the post before this one, is about slavery. It's only alluded to because it was a romance competition not some literature thing that was looking for deep sad stories. It was one of the reasons I was sure they would throw it out. The girl is enslaved by one guy and won in a poker game by another. I was constrained by the word count, but if I had my way, she'd have run away from him too. Because even though he figured he was 'saving' her, the truth is that he just bought her manumission papers and if he so chooses, he could enslave her just as much as the guy he won her from. At the end of the day, we have to realize our own value and save ourselves.
Enough real-life horror. Go read some contrived horror here and here for November, which is horror month. Or allow me to buy you a copy by filling in the form.

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Story That Won First Prize

This is the story which won me that Amazon gift card. The one I'm using to buy anyone who wants one, a copy of any book you want (of mine - see google form at the bottom.) What I like about winning a prize with this story is that it's one of my crazy wacko concepts and frankly I was expecting it to be thrown out without ceremony. If you know me at all you know I like to avoid the beaten path when it comes to storytelling. I'd rather beat on the poison ivy with a machete than take the pig path. Only in my head of course. Real nature has chameleons and snakes...I'm gonna take the road. 
So here it is. 
Comments are love.

Copyright © 2017 by Annemarie Musawale All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Clyde and His Bonnie

Iman wiped his shoes on the rug outside of the bar. Sure, this was some Podunk town in Texas and the way the wind was blowing dust everywhere…his gesture was probably pointless. But that wasn’t the point of wiping his shoes anyway. He wanted these small town hicks to know he was a civilized gentleman with manners. With his dusky skin and curly hair, it was necessary.
The bartender looked up as he walked in, an assessing look in his eye. He looked down again and continued dusting the counter so Iman guessed he’d passed the test. He ambled slowly up to the counter, taking in every aspect of the room.
This was a dying town, a relic of happier days before the assembly plant was outsourced overseas. Iman was probably the first stranger they’d seen in a while.

“Hey. I’ll have whatever’s on tap,” he told the bartender. The man nodded, picking up a relatively clean glass and filling it up. He placed it on the counter and then picked up his rag. He didn’t move away so Iman took it as his cue.
“I hear there’s a poker game here every Wednesday night. Any chance I can get a buy-in?”
The man raised his blue eyes narrowing them at Iman, “whose askin’?”
Iman stuck out his hand, “Name’s Cole Sprouse, looking to make some money to buy me some fuel. Got me a job in Dallas waitin’...”
The bartender looked down at his hand with suspicion before reaching out slowly to shake it. Iman had found on his travels that if a man shook your hand, he was less likely to stab you in the back.
At least, not right away.
“Game’s in the back,” he said.
“Thank you, kind sir. And you are…?” Iman held on to the bartender’s hand, widening his whiskey eyes at him.
“Dan Shumpert,” he said.
“Nice to meet you, Dan,” Iman said with one last vigorous shake. He had some money to make and no time to lose. Deadlines were looming.
Iman was winning steadily and his opponents were getting steadily more upset. He figured it was time to bail and pushed his chair back to stand up.
“Uh, well fellas it’s been-” he began to say.
“One more game,” interrupted the sweaty guy on his right with five o’clock shadow and a dirty wifebeater. Iman had been keeping an eye on him because he seemed like the kind to keep a gun under his chair.
“Uh, you don’t have any collat-” he began to say.
 Wifebeater guy looked up at the beefcake looming in the doorway and said, “Bring her.” he cut in.
Iman sat up straighter. What was going on?
Before he could catch his breath, a young woman was pushed into the room. She had zip ties on her wrists, tying her hands together. Her long silky black hair hung halfway down her back in a greasy curtain and her white dress could have done with a wash. Her black eyes were wide with fear as she stared at Wifebeater guy.
“What’s-” Iman began to ask.
“Your entire stake for the girl,” Wifebeater guy said.
Iman stared at him in shock, “You want to wager…a person?”
Wifebeater guy shrugged, “She’s mine to do with whatever I please. Bet or no bet?”
There was no way he could stand up and walk away. Not when these people were…wagering humans.
“Bet,” he said.
Wifebeater nodded at the dealer who immediately began to shuffle cards. Iman could not stop staring at the girl as she stood shivering behind Wifebeater’s chair. She was tall, maybe five eight, voluptuous with her heavy breasts and ample hips, tiny waist in between. But it was the look in her eyes that drew him again and again. She looked like a trapped tiger, looking for an opening to escape. Iman resolved there and then, that he was going to help her. He looked down at his cards, knowing with even more certainty than before, that losing was not an option.
Iman grabbed the girl’s hand, pulling her out of the Saloon at a run. Wifebeater guy had not been expecting to lose and it had been tricky getting out of there without a fight. He skidded to a halt in front of his Camaro, pushing her in before getting in after her before gunning the engine. He raised a lot of dust himself as put the pedal to the metal. They careened out of town, one eye on the rearview watching for a tail. Iman didn’t stop until he’d put two hundred miles between him and the Podunk town. Too tired to drive anymore, he stopped at a no-tell motel on the side of the road. Parking in the driveway, he turned to the girl.
“So…what’s your name?” he asked.
She looked at him as if she was thinking about pretending not to understand what he said. But at last she sighed and turned to face him.
“Will you untie me if I tell you?” she asked.
Iman jumped. He’d completely forgotten about the zip ties, “Of course I will damn.” He said fishing for the knife he kept in his stocking. He pulled it out holding it toward her. She held out her hands, too trustingly he thought, and let him cut through her restraints.
“So, you going to tell me your name?” he asked.
“It’s Honey,” she said.
Iman smiled at her, looking into her eyes, “It suits you,” he said looking down at her arm, “that’s the exact color of your skin.”
Honey smiled, “And what is your name? Prince Charming?”
Iman smiled, holding out his hand to be shaken, “My name is Iman Bridges. And I am here to rescue you.”
Honey shook his hand with a laugh, “Yeah right. Are you getting us a room or what?”
“Your wish is my command,” Iman said suddenly feeling like he had indeed won the lottery.

Fill in the form with a book of your choice and Merry Christmas. First come, first served.

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Highs, the Lows, The Life of an Artiste

You know, mostly this week has consisted of good news. So  I don't know why I feel kinda depressed. I guess I'm waiting for it all to turn bad or something. Or I have burnout. Anyway, not your problem.
Let us start with the good news then.
Child of Destiny is back in circulation!
Yaaassss! I was really worried there for a minute.

It made me doubt myself.
Well if there has been a week for doubting myself, it's been this one. For one thing, I got my first reviews for In Search of Paradise...both three stars. I suppose that's not too bad right? 60% grade is a pass.
I haven't felt more like a trash writer than I've felt this week. I found myself questioning my vocation. Is this really worth the heartache I wondered? Maybe I should just chuck it all in and go live in a commune or something.
(I really hope this is some sort of hormonal thing because being this dramatic all the time is going to be exhausting.)
But being me, I had to psychoanalyze why the fuck I felt like such a failure. I think it goes back to my mother; she had such high standards for me. Getting 60% would definitely have not been acceptable to her.
"You can do better than that," she would have said.
And so she created this expectation in me that I must be always above average or nothing at all. It's generally played havoc with my life I can tell you because you're going to be crap at something or other. And it always hits me hard when I do just okay. It has to be excellent or nothing at all.
It dawned on me some time in my musings that I may be a perfectionist. Which sucks because I hate perfectionists; they're so unrealistic!
I guess it also explains my mood this evening. I missed a deadline and a client canceled a contract and I was legit ready to chuck it all in and live as a hobo on the street. Thankfully my son talked me down; without being aware that that was what he was doing; him and DJ Khaled actually. Check my Instagram if you don't believe me...
I entered a competition and I won...I did tell you it's been mostly a good news week. I submitted a short story to the Mini Romances Short Story Writing Contest. Shock on me when I won first prize. I'd just been reading Awesomely Luvvie's post about how two years ago or something she was ugly crying into her beer feeling like a failure and then she got a phone call to say she'd won a competition. And I said to myself, "Yeah well...that isn't going to happen to me." *continues to wallow in self-pity*
Well, that was yesterday. Today I won a competition.
Woah, right?
So anyways, my prize is supposed to be a $25 dollar amazon gift card. I'm gonna use it to buy books for you. Fill in the form below, choose the book you want, and Bob's your uncle.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Of Witch Hunts and Which Hunts

The lynch mobs are out in force these days huh? I always feel uncomfortable when the pitchforks and angry mobs come out. Especially since they seem so selective. Louis CK came out of the sexual harassment closet last week. Unlike the other guys he didn't try to fight the power, but just was like, "Yeah, I did it."

p.s. Why do these pervs all look like pale skinned homeless drunks?
I read his apology. It was full of how much these women 'admired' him and how he 'took advantage' of their admiration by asking them if they wanted to see his penis...
That kind of puzzled me because assuming he was meeting these women in business conditions, what part of the business meeting involves the notion that your colleagues might want a peek at your privates?
I tried to understand it using my one and only guinea pig; my son. So like Michelle Obama said, it's true in my case, I did kind of mollycoddle him except that I didn't. I say that because looking at men around me, I kind of figured that they have really fragile egos because they didn't have a foundation of a sense of self. So I always tried to give my kid that. To let him know that he was valued and that he was capable and I always tried to let him make decisions for himself just so that he knew he could. I could tell you how this backfired on me in adolescence but this isn't a parenting post.

So yeah, he does have a belief in himself and in his importance in the world. And when he talks about girls, maybe he does feel that he's really important to their happiness. Certainly, he thinks (knows) that he's important to mine. I see how he goes around feeling cocky and like the greatest thing since sliced bread. But that's just teenagerhood, right? And even with all that, I don't think he would whip out his penis to show someone because he thought they admired him. I mean, I'll ask him, but I don't think the notion would occur to him.
So if that notion wouldn't occur to a cocky teenager, why would it occur to a full grown, middle-aged man? These are just some of the things I wonder about.
However, back to the lynch mob.

So Louis CK was masturbating in front of women and the lynch mob is very annoyed with...Aziz Ansari.
They mad at Aziz because TWO YEARS AGO, when asked by a Daily Beast reporter about his mentor, he said: "I'm not talking about that."
What people seem to forget about these harassers is that that's what they might be TO YOU, but they are other things to other people. Aziz didn't rush to Louis' defense. He didn't try to justify what the man was doing. He just said, "I'm not talking about that."
To blame him for that is like blaming Nicki Minaj for paying her brother's legal costs. He might be a disgusting child rapist, but he's also her brother. Loyalty is a rare and precious thing, especially in this day and age. I'm not going to blame anyone for standing by their friend.
All these accusations being flung about left and right are making me uncomfortable. The only court that seems to matter is that of public opinion. How about someone files a police case? Sexual harassment is illegal, right? It is a crime? So file a complaint. This business of bringing stories to the blogs, just allegations being published as's...unsavory.

Besides, getting all these men fired is not the solution. Oh, I'm not saying they should keep their jobs; I'm just saying it's not the solution. What is really required is a paradigm shift.
In the eighties and nineties, AIDS swept across Africa, taking whole villages along with it especially in Nyanza and Uganda. This is because of the communities' sexual practices. All that was left was young children and old people. So the government of Uganda launched a campaign on safe sex. That led to an entire generation of Ugandans who grew up not knowing what it felt like to have sex without a condom. For to solve the problem, they had to engender behavior change in the whole entire country.
That's what this sexual harassment problem needs. Everyone needs to adopt new patterns of behavior. The lynch mobs are a fad. They will do nothing except make sure some men lose their jobs temporarily. In another, five to ten years, Brett Ratner, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey will be "rehabilitated" and allowed to join polite society again. That's just how the weasel pops.
Changing your behavior is hard, it sucks balls. It usually never happens unless needs must. Like Bulitia in Requiscant in Pace, forced to go from husband and father and free man to slave bonded to a monster. He had to adapt in order to survive and that's what we'll all be forced to do.
This month is horror month (go with it) and you have a choice...between a pair of ghost lovers trying to survive the afterlife, or an African slave, trying to survive his new master who is just a little bit more than human. Which will you choose?